Close allies of First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo are behind the new polling firm StratPOLLS Inc., which recently showed administration candidate Gilberto Teodoro surging dramatically in its recent survey of presidential candidates.
Aware of the power of surveys to sway voters come election day, Congress enacted the Fair Election Act in 2001 to require polling firms to be more transparent. Last week, however, the Commission on Elections issued new rules that appear to weaken and in effect amend that section of the Fair Election Act on surveys.
Under the law, anyone can set up shop to conduct political surveys, which was what happened on July 29, 2009 when five incorporators formed StratPOLLS Inc. with a paid-up capital of P1 million. They include Dominga Rufina Chua, who owns the biggest share at 40 percent, and Benjamin Ramos and Feorelio Bote, who own 5 percent each.